The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna has called on the governor of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodinma to step in and halt the ongoing killing of Imo people by the ‘unknown and known gunmen’.
In a statement this week titled; Stop the killings, Convoke a Ceasefire Meeting-Save Imo State, Bishop Obinna urged the governor to convoke a ceasefire meeting of all Imo stakeholders for a concerted effort towards quenching the bloody fire already ravaging Imo people and destroying Imo State.
He equally charged all abusers and deadly weapons to stop the killings, to renounce violence and to denounce any show of pride in killing fellow human beings.
He said: “Last year, exactly about this time, I charged Governor Hope Uzodinma and other Igbo leaders to protect our people and defend our lands. That charge was provoked by threats and acts of invasion on our farmlands by Fulani Herdsmen. Now our very lives are at stake as killings of Imo People is taking place in broad daylight and at nights by both officially and unofficially armed men. Imo people are on the run from known and unknown gunmen. There is scare in the air and anxiety on the ground. Imo people are hiding, living in fear. Reports of indiscriminate arrests for no clear reasons and killings as a show of power or in the alleged retaliation continue to spread.”
Bishop Obinna disclosed that he was at the Federal Correctional Center in Owerri on May 26 to see the 106 young men arrested from different locations, accused and charged to court jointly for planning to commit ‘a treasonable felony’. “They are yet to be released,” he said, adding that he was also at the Owerri Medical Center Mortuary on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, where he saw the 36 corpses dumped in the last few days “victims of run-away killers, military, police and unknown gunmen, with no identification on them. I thought of many that have been kidnapped, taken to unknown locations, killed and even butchered, as we continue to hear. Imo is bleeding.”
Bishop Obinna, “On behalf of the already killed and even more, on behalf of the living and threatened daily with brutal death, charged Governor Hope Uzodinma as the chief security officer for Imo people to step in and stop the killings by whoever is responsible for them.”
He equally charges all users and abusers of guns and deadly weapons to stop the killings, renounce violence and to denounce any show of pride in killing fellow human beings.
This came as a statement earlier in the week by a foremost Igbo socio-political organisation, Igboekulie, called on Imo stakeholders to sheath their swords and find a peaceful means out of the ugly situation
The statement was signed by its president and secretary general, Prince Ben Onuora and Barr. Benjamin Obidiegwu respectively, called on the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, IPOB, the state governors, legislators, traditional rulers, elders, the clergy, various socio-political groups and the youths that it is time to sheath swords, have an all embracing conference/dialogue on the present and future of Ndigbo, make peace, enthrone good governance and embrace progress in all ramifications.
“Meanwhile, at our various spheres of influence, let us, as leaders, appeal to our aggrieved youths to immediately ignore attempts to provoke them into an avoidable war.
“We at Igboekulie are willing and ready to provide support for any initiative that will bring peace and progress to Igboland. This task is urgent and crucial,”